PlayBuild | Youth Intensive

A FREE seven-week theater intensive for students at the Goodman

Save the Date: Applications for Summer 2018 are due June 1st at 10am. Auditions will occur June 9th, 2018.

About the Program
Program Dates
How to Apply
Past Performances


The Goodman's PlayBuild – Youth Intensive is an entirely FREE, seven-week program, introducing 14 to 18-year-old students in the Chicago metropolitan area to theater arts. Held at the Goodman, this program gives students the opportunity to learn skills from local theater professionals that are instantly applicable not only to the world of theater, but also their world at large.

PlayBuild acquaints students to the techniques used for devised theater, building and refining their skills in:

  • Performance
    • Acting
    • Space Work and Physical Theater
    • Fight Choreography
    • Improv
  • Creative Writing
    • Storytelling
    • Poetry
    • Comedy
  • Communication
    • Interviewing
    • Team Building
    • Critical Analysis
    • Public Speaking

Designed to validate the voices of its participants and get them to examine their own potential for creativity, PlayBuild introduces students to all elements of the creation of theater, culminating in a performance on the Goodman’s stage.

Building on the Chicago legacies of artists like Viola Spolin and techniques like Viewpoints, participants weave together their own stories and stories collected from their communities through interviews and research, culminating in a public performance of an original work. This ensemble-building program invites students to explore how each of us contributes to the human drama. In addition, students will be able to collectively develop and design sound and costumes for the production.

Interested in musical theater? View the Musical Theater Intensive Program info.

Program Dates

Students will participate in either the Morning or Afternoon Session for the first 6 weeks of the program. The final weeks of the program will combine both sessions, all day, Monday - Friday.

  • Morning Session: June 25– August 2, Monday-Thursday from 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
  • Afternoon Session: June 25 – August 2, Monday-Thursday from 1:30-5 p.m.
  • Combined Sessions for all participants: August 6 – August 10, from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

The public performance of work created by PlayBuild students will take place tentatively on Monday, August 13! Students must be available all day (9am – approx. 9pm) on the performance day.

Students must be have reliable transportation and be available all seven weeks of the programs to participate.

How to Apply

Interested participants should fill out the application here. Applications need to be submitted by June 1st 10am.

*Note: Once you have begun your application, you will not be able to save it and return later. Applications will need to be filled out in one sitting.

Applicants will be asked to answer the following questions in two paragraphs:

  • What are you interests in theater? Why do you want to explore them here at the Goodman?
  • What do you hope to gain from participating in the PlayBuild Youth this summer?

Applicants can either prepare and upload their answers as a .doc, .docx, or .pdf file or write their answers in the body of the application.

All applicants will also need to participate in an audition on one of the following dates:

  • Saturday, June 9th from 10am – 11am
  • Saturday, June 9th from 11:30am – 12:30pm

Applicants are required to print out and bring this permission slip with signatures from their parent/guardian and teacher to the auditions.

Applicants will be contacted by June 5th with their audition times. If applicants have not received their audition time by June 6th, please contact


Watch the full length performance of the 2014 final performance: Heartscape.

You can also watch the full length General Theater Studies (now PlayBuild) 2012 final performance,  Fear and Progress,  view photos from Domino Effect, the General Theater Studies 2009 final performance, or view photos from (R)Evolution, the 2010 final performance!



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